Disclaimer: This is going to come across as an incredibly mean-spirited post and may contain a minor hint of anger and intolerance. It is not my intention to offend anyone with the content of this post and I’m merely trying to get my point across. You have been warned.
Let’s talk about hype.
Anime fans love to hype.
At the beginning of each Anime Season, Anime fans start getting excited about the premieres they enjoyed the most immediately after watching them, and soon after, the majority of the community begins to follow suit and it quickly becomes apparent which shows will be the most anticipated and highly rated each week.
And it’s all due to hype. The community hypes shows up to no end, setting up expectations for those who have yet to watch the show. While this doesn’t necessarily mean these expectations will always be met, it’s definitely one of the many catalysts that serve as a means to convince people to try a show they may not have otherwise. I myself would never have so much as glanced at a show like this seasons Yuri!!! On Ice had it not been for the positive hype surrounding the premiere episode.
Fans love to get excited about a show. They love to flock to the MAL forums, to their personal blogs, to the YouTube comment sections and to social media to rave about how amazing the most recent episode was, and express their excitement for the coming weeks.
And with this hype, comes theory crafting, where viewers love to predict what will happen next in the series or further down the line. They spend countless hours making predictions and analysing current episodes to discover hints which further adds to the excitement and enjoyment. While not limited to just these, this is most common with long-running fighting Shounen series like Naruto or Dragon Ball Super, where fans will engage in incredibly long-winded discussions about what will happen next or how the characters will defeat the villain or whatever the subject matter may be.
Yet, there are many fans who, for some reason, don’t like hype.
In fact, they detest hype.
They claim it’s “destroying the medium” and that it’s the “worst thing” to come from the community.
They get really mad about the fact that every season, a large chunk of the community they are a part of are hyping up whatever the current big thing is and that it’s “annoying”. You’ll find that most of the time, this is because they don’t agree with the hype. They don’t think Yuri!!! On Ice is worthy of all the praise it gets or that March Comes in Like a Lion is a thematically deep series worth getting excited over every week. “You’re hyping up crap” they’ll often say. “Why are you setting up unreal expectations for people?” they’ll ask frequently.
Then comes the theory crafting. Boy, do these people get mad about theory crafting. They’ll claim that fans are overanalysing the series for their own good and that it’s pointless to waste time and energy into predicting what will happen because “no one knows what will happen next”. “You’re just adding to the hype!” they’ll say, “You’re just writing fan-fiction!” they’ll jeer.
What am I getting at here?
Well, it’s quite simple really. I’d like to propose something to these people.
…Have you ever just considered that the people hyping up these shows and crafting all these crazy theories are just having fun?
What’s it to you if someone hypes up Yuri!!! On Ice because you think it’s “gay”? Who cares if someone writes a 200 page thesis on how they think Goku and Vegeta are going to defeat Zamasu in Dragon Ball Super?
People love to engage with their choice of medium in many different ways. Some do it by analysing and reviewing like I do on this blog, some do it through making videos for YouTube and others do it by hyping shows up in forums and crafting theories about them.
Different individuals express their love and passion for Anime in different ways, and not every way is going to necessarily be your way.
I understand that hype can often lead to disappointment and that theory crafting tends to get way out of hand, but at the end of the day: who really cares?
Why is this considered a “problem”? How has something this ridiculous even reached the level of “concerning”? Have we as a community really reached a stage where we can’t even let people engage in their hobby the way they want to?
No one is forcing you to listen to the hype. No one is asking you to read theories if they are meaningless to you.
If hype annoys you so much, disregard it. Ignore it. Drown it out. I do it every season and it’s really not that difficult.
Because I don’t care for hype either. I tend to disagree with the consensus opinion an awful lot because I’m contrarian through no decision of my own. I just ignore what the community is saying and focus on what I want to say and what the people who’s opinions I care about want to say.
I just really don’t care. At all.
What I do care about are people going out of their way to belittle these fans who enjoy hyping up shows. They actively make fun of them, they abuse them through nasty comments, I’ve even seen some people take to YouTube to make entire videos on the subject and how these fans are “killing the community with hype”.
Hype is not killing the community. You are killing the community.
Hype is not the problem. You are the problem.
There’s nothing wrong with hype. There’s everything wrong with you.
Stop spreading negativity. Let people have their fun.
With that done, I’m off to go have my fun.
I suggest you do the same.